Almost every medium-sized or large city in the U.S. has a community college. Local community-based higher education has become an integral part of the American urban landscape -- tens of thousands of people get associate degrees or professional certificates from a community college every year. It takes thousands of dedicated faculty members to service this large population of students, and these faculty often come from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Community college faculty come from diverse backgrounds and will range from retired experts in their field to fresh grad students still working on their doctorates. The breadth of subject matters taught at many community colleges means the presence of folks from almost every walk of life on the faculty. That said, some graduate-level work in a specific field, if not an advanced degree, is pretty much a prerequisite for becoming a community college professor.
According to the American Association of University Professors, two-year college professors earned an annual salary of $52,719 on average in 2005-2006, which was about $4,000 less than their four-year college faculty colleagues earned.
Average Salary By Area
In 2005-2006, community college professors in Southeastern states earned $45,336 annually on average, whereas the average annual salary was $59,061 for two-year college faculty in the Mid-Atlantic states.
Work of Community College Faculty
Community college professors teach and work in air-conditioned offices and classrooms and have very safe and healthy working conditions. They are, however, often expected to work extended office hours and work late grading papers and exams at various times during the academic year. Quality of work (and to some extent retention) is largely based on class evaluations, so there can be some work-related stress.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment prospects for community college professors are very good. Job growth is expected to be around 15 percent between 2008 and 2018 for all postsecondary teachers and even faster for community college faculty.
2016 Salary Information for Postsecondary Teachers
Postsecondary teachers earned a median annual salary of $78,050 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, postsecondary teachers earned a 25th percentile salary of $54,710, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $114,710, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,314,500 people were employed in the U.S. as postsecondary teachers.
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images